Modern medicine can treat disease at a molecular—or even atomic – level. And today’s surgeons can fix things the naked eye can’t even see. But there’s one thing every patient wants that no technology in the world can provide: compassion. In this hour, doctors talk about the feeling side of their profession. One of the Dalai Lama’s personal physicians talks about scouting for physicians with heart to treat His Holiness. And a former president of Doctors Without Borders remembers the devastation of serving during the Rwanda genocide.
If you’re looking for the model of a compassionate doctor, you could start with James Orbinski. As a former member – and president – of Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF, he’s served in some of the world’s desperate places. He writes about his experiences in the book “An Imperfect Offering.”
Danielle Ofri is a practicing physician today. It’s a life she owes in part to mentors like "Joseph Sitkin", who taught her as a resident.. In her essay “Intensive Care” from the book “Writer, MD” – she describes her time as a young doctor and the emotional price that can come with a license to practice medicine.